how to get rid of stretch marks on breasts

13 Ways To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Stretch Marks On Breast, Stomach & More

Pregnancy and postpartum come with lots of different bodily changes, one of which is stretch marks.

Some women love their stretch marks, while others do everything they can to prevent them and reduce their appearance.

When it comes to stretch marks on the breasts, many women feel uncomfortable with how they look in low cut-tops or even naked.

Thankfully, we have put together a guide outlining thirteen remedies, both home and medical, for reducing the appearance of stretch marks on your breasts.

Ways To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Stretch Marks On Breast, Stomach & More

how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks after delivery

Pure Butters

When it comes to both preventing stretch marks and reducing their appearance postpartum, moisturizing is key. 

While you can certainly use lotions and moisturizers from the drug store, most pure nut body butters will do a better job. In fact, they are specifically recommended for use on stretch marks.

This can include Cocoa, Shea, Almond, and Coconut body butter formulas. Shea butter, in particular, has plenty of Vitamin A in it, which increases skin elasticity.

With any of the butters, using the 2-3 times daily will help soften skin to prevent stretch marks when your skin stretches during pregnancy, but they will also soften existing stretch marks and help your skin to adjust as it shrinks back.

Pure Oils

When it comes to stretch marks, it’s not just appearance you need to worry about. Sometimes, as they heal, your skin will become quite dry, itchy, and irritated.

Pure oils, such as almond, castor, olive, rosehip, coconut, and grapeseed can aid in both reducing appearance and in reducing discomfort.

Coconut oil is especially good for shortening healing time thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ultra-hydrating effects will keep itching at bay.

On the other hand, you may want to try Castor oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Castor oil will prevent water loss of the skin, helping it lock in moisture.

Also, it has Ricinoleic acid, which is one of the best natural skin moisturizing ingredients on the market.

Stimulation/Massage

If you want to rejuvenate your skin and improve dermal nutrition, it’s crucial to improve your circulation.

You can start to improve circulation by giving yourself a massage, with or without lotion (although the hydration from a lotion is a bonus).

This will help new tissue grow and replace damaged skin, which could reduce your stretch marks’ visibility.

Specially Formulated Creams/Oils

If you’re not set on 100% pure oil or butter, why not try one of the specially formulated belly oils and butters on the market.

These products will combine many of the pure ingredients listed above as well as other skincare superstars such as assorted vitamins and aloe vera for amplified effects.

Plus, you can reap the benefits of multiple super-moisturizers and skin-savers in one simple step.

Exfoliate 

Use an exfoliating scrub, homemade or store-bought, to remove damaged skin and promote regrowth. You can also purchase an exfoliating brush to speed up the process and promote circulation.

Tretinoin Prescriptions

If you are noticing that most over-the-counter products and natural remedies are not helping the appearance of your stretch marks, you may want to talk to your physician about a prescription for Tretinoin.

Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A that is often used in medicated cosmetics to help with skin conditions.

It promotes collagen production and skin turnover, which will significantly help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Just be sure to talk to your doctor first if you have sensitive skin or if you’re breastfeeding, as this will not be a good solution for everybody, especially for use on the breasts.

Laser Therapy 

If you’ve tried every trick in the book to deal with your stretch marks at home and still aren’t satisfied with the results, you may want to consider a non-invasive clinical procedure.

Laser therapy for stretch marks aims to rebuild college in affected areas. One round of treatment, plus a good moisturizing regiment, should be enough for your stretch marks to fade significantly.

Wells suggested a skincare cocktail to accompany a round of laser treatments to best fade stretch marks.

A round could take a few months to complete, but the sessions themselves are only 15 to 30 minutes, and it’s completely painless.

Products With Retinol 

Retinol should be the first ingredient you look for when scoping out a stretch mark repair product.

It will help to even out skin tone, exfoliate, hydrate, and promote collagen production. Over time, this will return your skin to it’s natural, healthy state. Retinol removes dead skin cells and smoothens rough skin textures.

In fact, it is a vitamin A derivative that is often used in anti-aging products for these same properties.

Rebuild Skin Cells With Micro-Needling

If you’re not afraid of the odd cosmetic procedure, why not give micro-needling a try?

Micro-needling is known to be a great option for reducing the appearance of stretch marks or getting rid of them altogether.

This is because the needles stimulate collagen and elastin production in the exact spots where your skin needs to be rebuilt.

There are even some at-home devices for micro-needling, but we recommend leaving it to a professional, both for your safety and the highest chance of success.

Treat Stretch Marks With Fillers

Did you know you can actually use injectable fillers to reduce the appearance of stretch marks?

Poly-L lactic acid and dilute calcium hydroxyapatite can be used to promote natural production of collagen from underneath your scars.

Some fillers last as long as 1-2 years, but a couple of rounds is recommended for the best, long-lasting results.

Homemade Recipes For Pregnancy Stretch Marks

how to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks home remedies

You don’t have to invest a ton of money into your stretch-mark combatting skincare routine.

Whether you would rather go the all-natural route or save a few dollars, you can surely find the perfect recipe to suit your needs.

This way, you’ll know precisely what you are putting on your skin, and you can customize the recipe for your own skincare and scent preferences. 

Fatty Cocoa Recipe

This DIY cream is fantastic for use during pregnancy.

It will help keep your skin moisturized and healthy, prevent stretch marks, and help with itching, which is quite common as your belly grows.

It smells like chocolate, which is an added bonus, and it’s safe for postpartum use and sensitive baby skin. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cocoa butter
  • 1/2 lb. pork fat 
  • 1/2 lb. beef fat

Directions

  1. Cut the fat products (beef and pork) into 1-inch cubes. Once you have all of your cubes prepared, put them in a simmering pan on the stove, with the heat at the lowest setting possible. 
  2. Add approximately 2 tbsp. of water to help prevent burning. You will know if you’ve added enough if the water just barely covers the bottom of the pan- anything more is too much. 
  3. Render the fat slowly. 
  4. Once the fat is halfway melted, you can add in the cocoa butter. No matter how tempting it may be, do not increase the heat setting to speed up the process. This is important for avoiding burning and maintaining the right texture.
  5. Once the fat and cocoa butter has melted entirely, remove it from heat. 
  6. Use a lined mesh colander to strain the melted materials in a large glass bowl. 
  7. Place the glass bowl in your freezer and allow it to set for 20 minutes. 
  8. When you remove it from the freezer, there should be a solid layer on top. If this layer is not set yet, put it back in the freezer for ten more minutes. 
  9. Use an electric hand mixer to whip your fat and cocoa butter mixture until you get the texture/consistency of your usual body butters. 
  10. Store in a dark and cool place – or the fridge for an added cooling effect. 

Oily Water Recipe

This homemade cream is perfect for mamas who want a DIY lotion that’s multipurpose.

The ingredients are specialized for stretch mark prevention, but they are also optimized for created a high-moisture, wonderful smelling product that you will love to use. 

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of unrefined coconut oil
  • ¾ ounce of unrefined cocoa butter
  • ¾ ounce of unrefined Shea butter
  • 6 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 teaspoons of vitamin E oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of cypress essential oil
  • 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
  • 10 drops of helichrysum essential oil

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and Shea butter in a small saucepan over the lowest heat setting possible.
  2. Wait until the oils are melted completely, then mix in water until smooth and fully combined.
  3. Remove your oil mixture from the stovetop and continue mixing as it cools. Once you have reached room temperature and creamy consistency, you can stop mixing. 
  4. Once your stretch mark oil mixture is at the proper consistency, add essential oils for scent as well as extra vitamins and minerals. 
  5. Move your oil to a dark-colored container and store it in a cool, dark place. 

Oily Butter Recipe

If oil is more in line with your usual skincare routine, this is a super-easy, three-ingredient recipe that is perfect for stretch mark prevention.

Coconut oil is one of the best ingredients on the market for moisturizing and strengthening your skin tissue. The cocoa butter is chalked full of antioxidants that prevent skin damage.

And, lastly, Almond oil will help increase your skin elasticity as it grows and stretches. What more could you ask for? 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil 
  • 2 Tbsp. of cocoa butter
  • 2 tsp. of sweet almond oil 
  • Essential oil of choice (optional)

Directions

  1. Use a double boiler (small glass boil perched on top of a pot with boiling water) to heat your coconut and cocoa butter until melted. If you cannot use a double boiler, a saucepan will be fine; just be sure to keep the heat setting as low as you can to avoid burning. 
  2. Remove your bowl of coconut oil and cocoa butter from the stove and stir in your almond oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil for scent. 
  3. Pour your mixture into a lidded jar and allow it to cool completely. 
  4. Apply daily to your stretch marks to reduce their appearance, or twice daily to your pregnant belly to avoid getting stretch marks.

Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

The most important thing you can do to prevent developing stretch marks during pregnancy is to keep your skin moisturized.

You can use any hydrating lotion that you like for your skin, but you may also want to find a specialized stretch mark oil or butter with ingredients that promote collagen and elastin production. 

This will help your skin to be more elastic and handle stretching better. That being said, there is no foolproof way to avoid stretch marks entirely.

Despite best efforts, some people are more prone to developing stretch marks and will get some anyway.

Every pregnancy is different as well, so you may notice that you get stretch marks in a second pregnancy even if you didn’t during your first, or vice versa. 

Reducing Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

Once you have surrendered to the fact that you have gained a stretch mark or two, you might start looking for some quick-fix solutions.

Your stretch marks will “fade” over time, from bright red and purple to a more standard white scarring. 

That being said, if you would like to speed up the process or get rid of them completely, there are some steps you can take, both medically and at home.

are herbalife shakes safe during pregnancy

Drinking Herbalife While Breastfeeding Or Pregnant: Dangers & Alternatives

Many meal replacements boast about their health benefits, weight loss solutions, and great tasting shakes, but are they the same with pregnant or breastfeeding women? 

Herbalife sits on the fence, saying that, while certain products would be absolutely fine, as they are simply a replacement meal, other products do show a warning against Herbalife consumption in pregnant or breastfeeding women. 

Can You Drink Herbalife While Pregnant?

can you drink herbalife while pregnant

While some Herbalife products might be acceptable during breastfeeding or pregnancy as a vitamin or protein boost, it’s not recommended to use any Herbalife products as meal replacements while pregnant.

Although Herbalife does showcase products for extra vitamin consumption and energy build-up, they are best known for their healthy shakes.

However, these are typically meant as a meal replacement, usually for weight loss. 

Losing weight during pregnancy is never recommended. In fact, by the start of your third trimester, most midwives will suggest consuming around 340-450 extra calories per day to keep your baby growing at the correct speed. 

Increasing Tiredness

During pregnancy, your unborn baby needs to take vitamins from your body to keep them healthy. This is already a drain on your resources, which is why women in the later stages of pregnancy become tired quickly. 

Consuming any weight loss product during pregnancy is likely to exacerbate the problem, causing you to become easily drained.

It may also remove some of those great vitamins and minerals that your baby needs to grow strong. 

Baby Growth

Losing weight for you also means losing weight for your baby. You need to consume more calories to help your baby grow at the correct rate.

Using a weight loss solution of any type may mean that your baby can’t get all the nutrients they need from your body, and it could affect their growth and development. 

Trying to lose weight during pregnancy could:

  • Cause your baby to be born prematurely.
  • Cause your baby to be under-developed at birth, meaning their brain or body isn’t equipped for survival outside the womb. 
  • Lack of specific vitamins might cause the malformation of certain aspects of their body – e.g., lack of calcium could cause the bones to be more brittle. 
  • An absence of specific vitamins may mean that your baby is intolerant to certain foods after birth. 

Loss Of Vitamins

If you check the back of any Herbalife container, you’ll see that most products contain the recommended amount of daily vitamins. Great, right?

In theory, this works for most adults, as a daily diet generally includes lots of some vitamins and less of others depending on what you like to eat. Herbalife simply evens it out. 

However, what’s not apparent is that while you’ll get an even coverage of vitamins, you might lose out on the extra that you usually get from your standard diet. 

For example, if you eat a lot of oranges, then you’ll get a lot of vitamin C from your normal diet.

If you scrap the oranges and just use Herbalife, sure, you’ll get some vitamin C, but probably not as much as you were getting with oranges, as the shake has to make room for other great stuff that oranges might not have. 

Are There Any Herbalife Alternatives For Pregnant Women?

Can You Drink Herbalife While Breastfeeding

Protein Powder

Consuming a high protein diet while pregnant or breastfeeding really helps your baby to grow.

It’s recommended that a pregnant woman should consume around 70-100 grams of protein per day from eggs, soybeans, or potatoes. This helps with the growth of the body and, most importantly, the head. 

Some women suffer significantly from nausea during the second trimester of pregnancy, meaning that the consumption of such heavy foods is problematic. 

It’s acceptable to consume some protein powders to build up to the right level in this situation.

Herbalife has some pregnancy-friendly powders for this reason, and other protein powders such as Whey are fine for pregnant women. 

Fresh Ingredients

There’s no substitute for freshly sourced ingredients. Herbalife is primarily a supplement, so some of the good stuff in there is likely to be synthetic so that the powder will last a little longer. 

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables gives you all that goodness, straight from the source.

Recent studies have discovered that the ellagic acid in some berries can protect the body from cancer, while kale and spinach contain calcium for strong bones and teeth and lutein for excellent eye health. 

These ingredients that come naturally from fresh produce don’t appear in Herbalife powders. 

Can You Drink Herbalife While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can drink the Herbalife shakes as a booster for your nutrition during breastfeeding. 

However, it would be best if you didn’t use the shakes for weight loss at this point. Your baby still needs your milk to have lots of nutritional value to help them develop. 

You should continue to eat the same varied diet and mix a daily shake on top of this, rather than as a replacement meal.

Herbalife has a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your baby’s development, but you need to ensure that this is extra to the great everyday food you eat and not instead of. 

Caffeine Warning!

Certain products made by Herbalife are designed as energy boosters rather than weight loss products.

If you’re looking at boosting your energy, some products may contain caffeine, which can affect the quality of your milk.

Make sure you check the label of the products to ensure they’re breastfeeding-friendly first. If you’re feeling a little drained, try some fresh fruit or vegetables as a booster instead. 

Summary

Trying to lose weight during pregnancy probably means that you’re fighting a losing battle. You should wait until your baby is born to consider cutting down your food intake. 

Certain Herbalife shakes could be used to boost the number of vitamins you’re already taking in if used as an extra meal, rather than a meal replacement, but make sure you check the label to see that there’s no caffeine.

Anything that isn’t baby-friendly will make that quite clear. 

What should a mother do to keep her baby from getting jaundice

What Should A Mother Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice & More

Newborn jaundice is a common problem in babies, and for most, it’s easily curable. However, there are also a lot of things that a mother can eat while she’s pregnant and while breastfeeding to help prevent jaundice before it occurs. 

If your newborn baby starts to show jaundice symptoms, having a healthy diet for both mother and baby can help cure it.

Remember, lots of the vitamins and minerals that a mother eats are also consumed by the baby through breast milk, so maintaining that diet for as long as possible will help them stay healthy too. 

How To Recognize Jaundice

What should a mother eat when the baby has jaundice

The most recognizable sign of jaundice is a yellowish tint to your baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes.

This is because they have too much bilirubin in their bloodstream. This is a substance that is usually filtered out by the liver when the body breaks down old red blood cells. 

Jaundice will start to show in the face and eyes and gradually spread down the arms, chest, and legs. The further down the body the yellowish color spreads, the more serious it is. 

If your baby has a nasty case of jaundice, they will also show as having a fever, may lose their appetite, and might not pee or poop very often – meaning the body isn’t processing food through the liver very quickly. 

What Causes Baby Jaundice?

Jaundice in babies is relatively common as the red blood cell breakdown is a normal bodily function. However, a baby’s underdeveloped liver can’t process the breakdown as quickly. 

You’ll start to notice the signs of jaundice when the bilirubin levels reach 2 milliliters per deciliter.

The conditions typically last around 7-10 days but can go on for weeks if it’s not managed correctly. The more prolonged jaundice is, the weaker your baby’s liver is becoming, and it can hinder their development, so it’s vital that you do everything you can to prevent this. 

The Two Main Types Of Baby Jaundice

  • Physiological Jaundice

This is a natural process developed because your baby’s liver isn’t developed far enough to process bilirubin in the blood cells. This will typically go away gradually on its own as your baby develops. 

  • Neonatal Jaundice

This is when the fetus’ blood cells aren’t compatible with the mother’s body and the mother will form antibodies that attack the fetus’ cells. This causes a breakdown of the cells, increasing the amount of bilirubin. 

This type of jaundice is also incredibly common if the mother has diabetes while pregnant. 

What Should A Mother Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice

How can I treat my baby's jaundice at home

There are several foods that you can eat during pregnancy which can help prevent neonatal jaundice later on. 

Cereal

Foods like cereal which are high in fiber, help the food to breakdown and remove toxins. This makes the breast milk purer.

Cereals also contain whole grains, which are high in beta-glucan. Research has shown that a bowl of whole-grain cereal per day drastically improves liver functionality after 12 weeks. 

It would help if you tried to make your daily bowl a habit as early as you can in the pregnancy. 

Fresh Vegetables

Vegetables that are high in vitamins A and C and high in fiber are great for your unborn baby. Certain leafy greens and herbs are also good for improving your metabolism and detoxifying your liver.

If you used to be a big drinker or had an unhealthy diet before your pregnancy, certain vegetables can help you return your liver to the best of health, giving your unborn baby a better chance of avoiding jaundice. 

Certain Fruits

Citrus fruits, in moderation, provide antioxidants which are perfect for a detox. If you add a few slices of lemon to your water, it will help improve your baby’s immune system, making their cells stronger. 

Papaya or mango are also excellent fruit choices as they contain lots of digestive enzymes which eases the flow of digestion through the liver and helps combat any bacteria. 

Berries such as cranberries, blackberries, or blueberries are rich in fiber, which helps break down food through the liver and intestinal tract.

The easier your body breaks food down, the more vitamins you absorb, which benefit your baby. 

Coconuts are also the perfect source of amino acid which help with liver regeneration and development. Try to use coconut milk rather than cows’ milk while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Water

Make sure you drink lots of fluids while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The more you drink, the easier it is for your body to process old cells and retain better liver functionality.

This ensures that you don’t pass the bilirubin down to your baby, helping their liver to develop as fast as possible. 

Try to drink around 2 liters of water per day if possible. However, you shouldn’t give water to your baby. Keep them hydrated with breast milk only. 

What Should A Mother NOT Eat When Her Baby Has Jaundice

food to avoid when baby has jaundice

If your baby has jaundice and is breastfeeding, there are a few food groups that you absolutely need to avoid. 

Alcohol

This is an obvious one. Our own livers don’t process alcohol well at all. Too much alcohol can cause permanent liver damage.

Drinking alcohol while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding can seriously harm your baby – not just causing jaundice, but other long-term liver issues too. 

Junk Food

You should avoid salty food. Junk food like kebabs, processed meat, or spicy sauces contain lots of salt, affecting the taste of your milk and can be bad for the liver. 

Refined Sugar

Believe it or not, white bread and pasta contain lots of refined sugar, which can actually contribute to conditions such as type 2 diabetes and are considered to cause difficulties in young children’s liver development. 

Switch to brown bread and whole-grain pasta throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

High Sugar Drinks

Sugar is difficult to digest, meaning the liver needs to work harder when you have a sweet tooth.

Giving excessive sugar to your baby through your milk or from your body while you’re pregnant could increase the chances of your baby developing jaundice just because the liver is having to work harder. 

Try to avoid fruit juices. Although fruits are good for you and your baby, most juices contain many additives and sugar substitutes that could actually work against the liver function. 

Raw Fish Or Undercooked Meat

While it’s usually acceptable to eat sushi or a rare steak for adults, these foods can contain bacteria and parasites that attack the liver. The fully developed liver of an adult can usually handle this.

However, if those bacteria pass to your unborn child, it could cause liver development issues from the beginning, possibly causing jaundice from birth. 

Can A Mother Eat Eggs If Her Baby Has Jaundice?

Pregnant women or new mothers can eat chicken eggs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It’s a myth that you shouldn’t eat eggs if you’re pregnant, which stems from the fact that they’re high in cholesterol.

And it’s correct that high cholesterol levels in the blood can cause issues with fatty liver syndrome, hindering a person’s ability to process food correctly. 

However, the cholesterol you eat doesn’t necessarily affect your bloodstream’s cholesterol levels, so it’s unlikely to pass to your baby. 

While it’s advisable to cook your eggs thoroughly during pregnancy, this is due to the bacteria that raw eggs may carry, which will attack the liver and may affect your baby. 

What Vegetables Are Good For Jaundice In Babies?

The trick to improving jaundice’s effects, or avoiding them altogether, comes down to a simple diet rich in fiber, fluids, and vitamins.

You need to help pack all those vitamins into your baby’s digestive system while they grow to aid proper liver functionality. 

Vegetables that are high in fiber and digestive enzymes really help your baby’s development. Try:

  • Broccoli 
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Baby Jaundice

Can I eat egg in jaundice

Sunlight

The UV rays coming from the sun can help reduce the bilirubin levels in the blood and help to relieve jaundice. Ensure you don’t place them in direct sunlight, but an hour or so outside will help. 

Intravenous

If your baby has a different blood type to you, an intravenous drip may be employed to add blood protein to slow the breakdown of cells. 

Feeding Schedule

Feeding your baby breast milk more often is a great way to get the liver to develop more quickly. It’s a good idea to make feeding time more regular to get that function moving more effectively.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding a small amount 8-12 times per day. If you’re struggling to get your baby to drink from the breast, try to feed breast milk from a bottle instead. 

Summary

Overall, newborn jaundice is quite normal. However, you should do your best to have a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy.

Eating foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and digestive enzymes will give your baby the best chance of avoiding jaundice when they’re born. 

If you’re choosing to breastfeed your baby, make sure you feed them as early after the birth as possible and continue to breastfeed as often as you can.

The nutrients in your breast milk will help their liver to develop faster and stabilize the bilirubin in their system. 

If your baby’s jaundice lasts for more than ten days, take them to the doctor for a checkup. 

when does the pregnancy line show

When Does The Pregnancy Line Show, Why It Does & How To Fade It

During the second trimester of pregnancy, you’ll start to see a line down the center of your belly from your belly button to your public region.

This pregnancy line is called the Linea Nigra. It is usually relatively thin, around a centimeter or less, and will gradually become darker as you get further into your pregnancy.

But Why Do You Get A Line On The Belly When Pregnant?

why do you get line on belly when pregnant

Increased Melanin

The line appears due to the increased levels of melanin that your body creates during pregnancy. This is a natural chemical reaction which increases the chemicals in your body that create color variation. 

This line has always been there, so it’s not a new addition to your body, and it’s naturally darker in some women than others depending on your skin tone. 

Other dark patches will start to appear on your body too, such as darker bags under the eyes, giving you a tired appearance, scars will get darker and more noticeable, and your nipples may also darken. 

Folic Acid Deficiency

The linea nigra has also been linked to a lack of folic acid in the pregnant woman’s system. Those who take synthetic folic acid in the form of a tablet tend to experience a fainter line. 

The easiest way to tackle this is to eat healthily by increasing the folate in your diet. Leafy greens such as spinach or kale contain lots of folates, as do fruits and whole-grain cereals. 

The linea nigra is an entirely normal reaction to your body being pregnant and is nothing to worry about. It’s not harmful or concerning for your baby. 

Does Everyone Get A Pregnancy Line?

Although the area of skin that would change is there for everyone, it’s not always obvious. Not all women will notice a massive difference in their skin tone, and that’s okay too.

Line or not, it doesn’t indicate that there’s any problem with the pregnancy or baby. Everyone reacts slightly differently. 

Pregnancy Line Above Belly Button

pregnancy line above belly button

Most pregnant women experience the linea nigra from their public region up to their belly button. However, some women may have a continuous line from their belly button further up their body to their lower chest. 

The length of the line doesn’t seem to make a difference as it is simply cosmetic. There’s also no evidence to show that the longer line takes more time to fade after the birth. 

However, an old wife’s tale states that if the line is past the belly button up to the ribs, you could be having a boy, whereas the shorter line, finishing at the belly button, must be a girl.

There’s no scientific evidence to back this though, but the fun superstition seems to have taken hold across the globe. 

Can You Have a Line On Your Stomach And Not Be Pregnant?

can you have a line on your stomach and not be pregnant

Studies show that 16% of women can start to show a dark line between their belly button and pubic area when they aren’t pregnant. This most often happens between the age of 25 and 45. 

Doctors don’t have a definitive reason why the linea nigra would appear outside of pregnancy; however, the most reasonable explanation would be a change in hormones – just as you would experience during pregnancy. 

  • Contraception – Some contraception, such as the Depo Provera injection or pills that require no break for a period, protects the woman from becoming pregnant by supplying the body with similar hormones as they would experience during pregnancy. Therefore, stopping them from becoming pregnant again. These hormones can stimulate darker skin. 
  • Early Menopause – Certain women experience early forms of menopause, such as hot flushes, frequent emotional turns, and irregular periods. The hormones in this period fluctuate and may present a temporary linea nigra. 
  • Regular Medication – Some medication, perhaps taken regularly for mental health conditions, could cause a reaction with a woman’s hormones, creating a temporary line which will typically fade once the medication is stopped. 
  • Stress – If you’re particularly stressed or in a heightened emotional state, this could even bring on a temporary dark line which will fade later. 

Does The Dark Line From Pregnancy Go Away?

does the dark line from pregnancy go away

Yes, it will fade when your body stops producing a high level of melanin. You’ll start to see the line gradually fading a few weeks after you’ve given birth, though it may take months to disappear entirely. 

Each time you get pregnant, the line will reappear again. 

Some women never fully get rid of their linea nigra after pregnancy and, although it will always fade, it remains darker than the skin around it. This can happen if you have particularly pale skin. 

How To Get Rid Of The Pregnancy Line

If your linea nigra doesn’t fade after pregnancy and you’re paranoid about the appearance, you could try bleaching the skin. 

Skin bleach can be obtained from a dermatologist, and it’s always recommended to do a patch test first as there are some strong chemicals in there.

Although bleaching the skin can work fine for some people, there have been a few concerns raised regarding its use:

  • It may even make the skin tone around the bleached area a different color to the rest of your body. Sure, it’ll change your skin tone, but can you be sure it’ll change it to the right color? 
  • The chemicals in the bleach can harm your baby, so never use it during pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

A simple solution while you’re waiting for your line to fade is covering it with makeup and ensuring you always use sunscreen, as this will prevent the line from becoming darker. 

Can You Prevent The Dark Pregnancy Line Before It Appears?

Can You Prevent It

Because the linea nigra is an entirely natural and normal aspect of pregnancy, there’s no need to try to prevent it.

However, if you’re anxious about the appearance, you can minimize the pigmentation change by avoiding the sun as much as possible (not just on your belly).

Believe it or not, getting a tan on other areas of your body can stimulate melanin production for areas that aren’t exposed too. 

So getting tanned legs could affect your belly, even if you don’t realize it. 

You should completely avoid sunbeds or other fake tan techniques too. Not only can these increase the appearance of the dark line, but they’re also bad for your baby. 

Summary 

The dark line which appears during pregnancy is not harmful to your body and will normally fade over time, so there’s no need to do anything.

In fact, everyone has a linea nigra, it simply gets darker at times of heightened emotion or during a drastic hormone change. If the line bothers you, try to cover it up cosmetically with makeup until it fades away. 

how to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis

10 Ways To Dry Up Milk Supply Without Getting Mastitis Or Engorgement

There comes a time when every breastfeeding journey needs to end – sometimes without even beginning.

This might be that time for you, but that doesn’t mean that your breasts have received the message that the “factory” is closing and milk production should halt.

Of course, it’s easy to SAY that milk should dry up. The devil is actually in the DOING. Unfortunately, lactation suppression will probably test your ability to endure pain and discomfort to the max.

It could take weeks to dry up and might lead to medical problems such as mastitis or engorgement.

The amount of time that it will take to stop milk production will vary depending on factors such as the amount of milk you’re producing, the age of your baby, or the pregnancy stage you’re at if you had not yet given birth.

Another pregnancy might also affect milk production, according to the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). The amount of touch your nipples receive (including lovemaking) also affects milk production.

For some, it takes weeks for milk production to dry up. Others dry up within days. You might notice milk stains on your bra or as you’re leaving the shower – so stock up on breast pads! 

However, a word of warning: You may feel a milk let-down months or even years after your breastfeeding journey has ended!

But without any further ado: let’s explore different ways to help you in these drying times.

You could always just leave it.

How do you dry up breast milk quickly

If you simply stop nursing, your breast milk will eventually dry up on its own.

This was also the experience of Reddit-user, curiousdoodler. She stopped breastfeeding after a month because her milk “never came in quite right.” Once she decided to quit, she stopped pumping entirely.

She tried going cold turkey but became engorged pretty badly, so she would let the baby nurse at night – just enough to relieve the pressure.

“I had to nurse on the first night because it hurt. The second day and night, I made it through without nursing. The night I had to nurse, but again, only enough to relieve the pressure.”

After that, she was able to make it through without any help and dried up within a week. Another Reddit-user, Osteogenix, also chose this route and hand expressed in the shower when she felt overly full.

This method also worked for her. Kit-Kat1319 commented that this method was successful, but it took her two weeks to dry up, and she felt extremely engorged during this period.

The key here is that a little bit of expressing goes a long way…

Don’t fully drain your breasts.

How do I wean myself from pumping without getting mastitis

As with all things in life, breastfeeding is a matter of supply and demand. That’s why milk supply increases as a baby’s needs increase. 

This doesn’t mean that a bit of expression isn’t necessary. Lactation specialist Kelly Bonyata from Kellymom.com says your body needs a way to relieve the fullness.

“Pumping or hand expressing just enough milk to relieve discomfort will not prevent your milk supply from decreasing.”

Milk production only stays the same or increases if adequate milk is removed. If just a small amount of milk is removed from the breast, then milk production will decrease.

Additionally, expressing a little will make it less likely that you’ll develop plugged ducts, breast infection, or an abscess.

Herbal remedies.

How long does engorgement last after stopping pumping

In an era where many parents go for natural rather than medical options, it’s no wonder that herbs and herbal teas are a very popular (and effective) way to decrease milk supply.

Specifically peppermint oil. It’s suggested that the oil should be applied directly to the breasts. The cooling and tingling effects of the oil might also ease the pain of engorgement.

However, peppermint oil is harmful at high doses. So remember to dilute it in a carrier oil such as almond or jojoba oil. And never use this if you are still nursing or putting an infant on your chest for skin-to-skin contact.

Dried sage (Salvia officinalis) can be mixed into vegetable juice but won’t mix well into other juices.

You can also mix it into other foods or a broth. You can make sage tea by infusing a tablespoon of dried sage in a cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 to 15 minutes. Drink one cup 2 to 6 times per day. 

Research also indicates that Jasmine lowers prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone that helps milk production. Apply fresh, crushed jasmine flowers (Jasminum sambac) to the breasts to decrease milk flow.

Medical research conducted between 1968 and 1971 in Australia and New Zealand showed that this is an effective way to suppress lactation.

An alternative to Jasmine is parsley (Petroselinum crispum), which also lowers prolactin levels. Try it as a seasoning or eat it as part of a garden salad. 

These are the best herbs for milk reduction:

  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
  • Chickweed (Stellaria media)
  • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
  • Stinging Nettles (not nettle – that increases milk supply)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Periwinkle Herb (Vinca minor)
  • Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)

Cabbage leaves.

ways to dry up milk supply without getting mastitis

The first thing that I heard about breastfeeding was that women turned cabbage leaves into bras. I was five at the time.

To this day, it’s still a tried and true remedy for weaning moms across the globe! 

A cabbage leaf compress will reduce your discomfort and decrease milk supply. Now that’s an inexpensive two-for-one special that’s at least worth a try!

Cabbage leaves can also help with moderate to severe engorgement.

You can either chill the leaves or use them at room temperature. Wash the leaves and apply to breasts between feedings.

When you’re weaning, you should leave the leaves on until they wilt. Then apply new leaves as often as needed for comfort.

Massage.

drying up milk supply with mastitis

A gentle massage of the breasts might help you ease the pain of engorgement. It is, however, important to note that too much stimulation might increase milk production.

Therefore massages should be limited. And carefully avoid your nipple area because this will also increase production. A nice herbal massage oil could work wonders if you decide to use massage as an option.

Sage, peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and oregano can all be incorporated into a pressed oil (cold-pressed or hot) to make massage oils for milk suppression.

Sunflower oil might be an excellent oil to consider as it’s high in Vitamin D and is very beneficial to the skin. 

Stop the flow.

drying up milk supply fast

Just reading about nipple stimulation can trigger a milk let-down. So maybe this is the moment to talk about it.

Most breastfeeding women have experienced this either glorious or horrifying event (it all depends on the company and timing).

The let-down reflex may happen if you see or hear your baby or even just think about them. It can also be triggered by touching your breast and nipple area.

While it’s a wonderful thing in a breastfeeding situation, it’s not something that you want to happen in the middle of a boardroom meeting!

And it’s definitely not something you would want while you’re trying to stop milk production.

The ABA suggests that you should stop the flow when necessary. You can control it by pressing firmly on your nipple with your hand or forearm for several seconds. 

Medication.

drying up milk supply quickly

Various medications on the market could help with lactation suppression, but it’s always better to talk to a medical professional before using them. In fact, many of these drugs can only be prescribed by a doctor.

Drugs such as cabergoline and bromocriptine work by reducing prolactin levels.

Medicalnewstoday.com reports that these drugs work well at lowering milk supply shortly after delivery, but research has not yet assessed how well these drugs work later in lactation, such as when weaning a toddler.

Oestrogen and birth control pills can also help reduce milk supply.

In fact, research has shown that milk supply should dry up within a week, which makes birth control a good short-term strategy – even for somebody trying to get pregnant soon!

Decongestants may also eliminate breast milk supply. It is, however, important to know that decongestants do get into breast milk, so don’t use this if you are still nursing.

Reddit-user Jobie285 says she took a maximum dose of Sudafed in the morning for two days. Then she halved the dose for the next two days and then half again. She had dried up by day six.

At night she used Benadryl as this allegedly also dries up breast milk. In conjunction with this, she also went back on the Pill and took Lecithin, which helped her avoid mastitis.

Pain medication such as ibuprofen can also help during the drying up period.

Don’t stop drinking.

water

Contrary to popular belief, cutting down fluids will not help reduce your milk supply. It will only lead to dehydration and won’t be in your child’s best interest. So – drink up!      

Kellymom.com also recommends that you should stick to a healthy diet at this point. And hydration is a vital part of a proper diet. 

DON’T bind your breasts.

binding breast to stop milk production

One thing that could actually hinder lactation suppression and lead to complications is breast binding.

The tight binding of breasts has been practiced for centuries, but there is little to no scientific evidence to suggest that this actually works.

In fact, many health practitioners are against this practice because it can cause plugged ducts, breast infections, or breast abscesses.

A 2012 analysis of existing research also confirmed that this method increases pain rather than reducing weaning-related discomfort.

Wear a bra and breast pads.

bra

The ABA recommends that women wear a firm bra day and night to support breasts and keep them comfortable. Take note: firm is not the same as tight.

The supportable bra should be a great fit but be roomy enough to hold whatever sort of breast pad you choose to use without putting added pressure on your breasts. 

When you wear your bra to bed, ensure that it doesn’t dig into your skin when lying down. This may lead to blocked milk ducts.

What is mastitis?

What is mastitis

Mastitis may not be a four-letter word, but it is definitely a curse for anybody who has experienced it.

Seriously. There’s nothing funny about this feverish red infection. Mastitis is a breast tissue infection that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.

Though it’s highly unlikely that you will die from mastitis, it is possible to develop a breast abscess that will need to be drained surgically. 

La Leche League International says mastitis signs include reddish patches on your breasts; hard, painful lumps in your breast; feeling achy and run down and having a low-grade fever of less than 38,4 ˚C (101 ˚F).

What to do if you get mastitis?

What to do if you get mastitis

It’s important to rest as much as you can if you have mastitis. Apply heat prior to feedings to promote breast drainage.

Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to use a medication such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.

You will need to seek medical help if you don’t feel better in 8 to 24 hours, or your fever continues or spikes to over 38,4˚C (101˚).

If your breasts become redder than usual and are hot and swollen or you see blood or pus in your milk, you also need to find help.

Help is also necessary if you see red streaks on your breast from the areola to the underarm or if you have chills and continue to feel worse.

A cracked, infected nipple will also need to be monitored by a healthcare professional.

Rest is an essential component in recovery from sore breasts, plugged ducts, or breast infections. Try resting in bed with your baby cuddled next to you.

Summary.

It’s important to note that mastitis might reoccur if the bacteria are resistant or not sensitive to the antibiotic you have been prescribed.

It could also reoccur when antibiotics are not continued long enough, when an incorrect antibiotic is prescribed, when the mother stops nursing on the affected side, or when the mastitis’s initial cause has not been addressed (i.e. milk is not removed from the breast).